Ghana’s Cervical Cancer Prevalence Highest in The Subregion

“Estimates of Age-Standardized ratios of cervical cancer prevalence for Ghana (35.4), are higher than those of Benin (29.0), Burkina Faso (23.3) and Cote d’Ivoire (21.7)”.

A revelation made by Dr. Adolf Kofi Awua, a Senior Research Scientist at the Cellular and Clinical Research Centre of GAEC. He made this statement during his presentation at the February edition of the GAEC monthly Seminar series.

His presentation on the topic, “A tailored within-Community Specimen Collection Strategy Increased Uptake of Cervical Cancer Screening and the Detection of non-Vaccine-type HPV in a Cross-Sectional Study in Ghana”, focused on risk factors, screening, preventive measures and prevalence rates among others.

He indicated that when it comes to cervical cancer prevention, there are three types of Vaccines against the sexually-transmitted Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) – the causative agent. “It also takes a long time (about 15 years) before the severe form of the disease develops”, he added

According to Dr. Awua, pre-cancer lesions are detectable using effective screening tools, and early detection means the disease can be completely cured. He added that cervical cancer is the most preventable of all cancers. “While some countries are working towards Elimination Programmes, Ghana still doesn’t have a Control nor a Prevention Programme”, he lamented.

He opined that Ghana does not have a cancer prevention programme, most probably due to the constant habit of officials acting only when there is an observable large effect of disease among the population.

Again, he indicated that low levels of knowledge and understanding limit the populace from taking appropriate actions until it is too late. “Without a cervical cancer prevention programme, Ghana will continue to see cervical cancer cases at the late stages of the disease at our treatment centres and each death due to cervical cancer in Ghana is a tragedy that should have been prevented”, he cautioned.

In her closing remarks, the chairperson of the programme, Prof. Mary Boadu, who is also the Director of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute, added that treatment of cervical cancer is very expensive and a better way is to prevent it from developing in the first place. “There is, therefore, the need for increased preventive awareness creation and expansion of facilities to cater to Ghana and the subregion”, she added.

She thanked the organizers and other participants for coming in their numbers and making the programme a success. Present at the seminar were Research Scientists, Technologists, Administrators and other Staff of GAEC.

By: Office of Cooperate and Public Affairs, GAEC